A while back, I made some wings that were a riff on a spicy candy-apple thing that KFC used to sell, but mine were baked, not fried (bonus!). They were really, really good, but the cinnamon candies involved are, for some reason, hard to find around about these parts. Then a helpful reader suggested using the candy apple wrapper kits sold in the produce department. Well, it was after candy apple season or something, because nary a market in the area had any CAWKs.
Then, Rich came home for a business trip to Rhode Island with tales of this stuff called ‘Fireball’ – which is wickedly cinnamon whisky.
An idea came together…
•1(18 oz) jar apple jelly
•2 cups Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
•3 tbsp butter
•1 tbsp Tabasco Chipotle
•1 tbsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Sauce
•1 tbsp Louisianna-style hot sauce
•1/2 cup brown sugar
•1/2 cup apple cider
•1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
•1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn mixture*
•3-1/2 lb wings (I used drumettes)
•1 tsp black pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp celery salt
•2 tsp sea salt
•2 tsp vegetable oil
*Sichuan Peppercorn Mixture:
Lightly crush one tablespoon of Sichuan Peppercorns with one teaspoon of sea salt – I used some kinda nice Maldon. Obviously, you won’t be using all of this mixture for the wings, but fear not, the remainder will add a nice bit of seasoning to any number of dishes – like, ermmm, a certain garlic sausage and peppers and onion and garlic and garlic roasted tomatoes and Amontillado thing that’ll be gracing this here interweb thing tomorrow.
Stir together all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring quite often.
BTW, yes, I use one tablespoon each of Spicy Garlic Pepper and traditional hot sauce. The resulting sauce is a nice surprise – on your first taste, you get the sweet and a bit of cinnamon, then the vinegar, and finally, a nice hit of heat. Which caused my guinea pig, ermmm, dinner guest, Wes, to give the sauce and the wings their name; he says it tastes like an Atomic Fireball candy.
Sauce made, let’s get going on the chicken:
Heat your oven to 400º, line a large baking pan with foil, then place a rack in the pan and apply a bit of cooking spray to it.
Place the wings in a gallon-sized zipper bag, then add the seasonings and oil and give it all a good shake and squeeze to coat each wing well.
Turn the seasoned wings out onto your prepared rack set into the baking pan and arrange in a single layer.
Bake the wings for 40 to 50 minutes, until they are cooked through and the skin is crispy – flipping them after 20 minutes, if you think of it.
Toss the wings in half the sauce, then (full disclosure, I totally forgot this part, and they were still good, but this would’ve been much more better) return to pan and bake for another ten minutes or so, until they are nicely glazed. A nice option, suggested by Wes, would be to finish them at this point on the grill.
Toss with the remaining half of the sauce and serve.
I’ll be repeating this recipe – with the grill bit added at the end – next month, so stay tuned for a Parfait! update. Or, just go ahead and make yourself some pretty darned fine wings.